Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

November 14, 2014

Modern Holiday Table Styling + Holiday DIY Videos

This is it...video day!  This week and last, I shared the holiday-themed projects I created for Canadian Tire.  The opportunity was perfect for me: free rein to create a bushel of neat projects, with the added bonus of revealing to you my super high-pitched voice, which is not unlike that of a 13-year-old girl. 


As I type this, I'm torn between the "publish" and "delete post" buttons.  Maybe you've forgotten that I ever uttered a word about videos?  I'm trying to be a good feminist and not fixate on my appearance but it's so hard not to nitpick!  When I run out of steam, I start to nitpick the projects, the house.  If only I had just smoothed a ribbon here, fixed a bow there...oh, and washed the house exterior. 

But I have to share these videos because the Canadian Tire team worked so hard on them!  Filming these three, one-minute videos was actually really labor-intensive!  There were many email and phone chats, plus a walk-though, before shooting even began.  I didn't get to choose which projects were highlighted and even after decisions were made, some extra bits were filmed the day of, which had me hopping.  We worked from 9:00am-6:00pm and it was a fast-paced and slightly exhausting day!  I consider myself a pretty peppy person: I laugh a lot, make a few inappropriate jokes, and just generally have fun.  But for these videos I had to be even peppier - real life peppiness was not peppy enough on film.  My cheeks hurt from smiling and when everyone left for the airport (I don't envy their schedule, it was nuttiness!), Hubs and I collapsed on the sofa. 



The whole experience was a little bit nerve-wracking, but also really fun.  Having seven (!) people with cameras and equipment made the lakehouse feel very tiny, but everyone was so careful with the house, making sure not to break anything or cause any damage.  Someone even swept the floors before they left.  Seriously, they tidied.  A very awesome group of people, indeed.  Perhaps my assessment is skewed, though, because everyone was so complimentary about the house, which of course I always find endearing.  Also, everyone loved Szuka, and that little gal's my weakness.  


It was really eye-opening to see how professionals film a video like this - I was in serious awe!  This team sifted through hours of footage to create what you'll see.  It's just mind-boggling to have seen what was filmed and then see the result in its tidy little package.  Self-deprecating critiques aside, I love how the videos turned out.  And given how huge Canadian Tire is for us Canucks, and how I've frequented their stores since I was a kid (tagging along with my Dad), I'm so thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such a great brand!

You'll notice I'm a "blogger and design enthusiast".  They wanted to call me an "expert" and I vehemently refused!  It was the only creative difference we had, but I was adamant that while I'm enthusiastic about DIY and home decor, but at the end of the day I'm no pro. 

Okay, let's just do this:

 

 If for some reason the embedded videos don't work, you can find them on youtube, using the links below:  

Did you spot Szuka's cameo?  I totally forgot about her being filmed and it was such a fun surprise to see her and her adorableness pop up on screen!  


Create Your Own Wreath

I seriously want to make a million wreaths now.  Filming the front door was an impromptu decision and I wish my new door had arrived.  Between you and me, I still think this is the easiest DIY ever and maybe the construction didn't need a video...but I love the idea of hanging wreaths in less expected places - this isn't even necessarily a "Christmas" idea.



I love those rolling shots - especially the one up the ladder!  This might be my favorite video just because the framed ornaments and rustic ladder look SO good.

Two of the video are available in French, too (they dubbed over my yammering): 
Décorez l’espace déjeuner avec style: Conseils de décoration pour les Fêtes de Canadian Tire
Décoration pas ordinaire: Conseils de décoration pour les Fêtes de Canadian Tire
 
As you saw in the first video, my final project with Canadian Tire was to create a tablescape.  Well, I'm not one for tablescapes.  I have a small dining room with a small table and once there are people seated and food in front of us, there isn't much room for condiments, let alone flowers and decorative objects d'art!  But the creative team really wanted one, so we came up with "a simple holiday brunch for two" at our lovely kitchen counter.  All I did was top a DIY napkin (made from my favorite Marimekko fabric - here's the tutorial) with a CANVAS ornament that coordinated so well with it, and fill a cake stand and platter with ornaments.  Done.  Everything else on the counter was edible or served a purpose.  This part looked a little different for the video but the sentiment was the same: do very little, add a smidge of sparkle, and then just enjoy the meal.      

That's the wreath my grandma made!!

That wraps up my holiday-themed DIY projects!  It was my decision to space them out this way (I could have lumped them into one colossal post), but I worked so hard on these projects and photos that I didn't want to rush through.  If you missed any posts or projects, here they all are:

Scandinavian-Inspired Plywood Christmas"Tree"
Easy Holiday Wreath Cheat + Red & Aqua
Festive Rustic Ladder Ornament Display
Framed Ornaments
Window Curtain of Ornaments
LED Holiday Sign

Thanks for letting me indulge in a little merriment this season.  It brought back a lot of childhood memories.  Have a great weekend!!
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36 comments

  1. Hi Tanya - what a wonderful job you did! You sound so professional, I expect to see you on Cityline some day!

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    1. You are TOO kind!! But thanks :) You know what's funny? Awhile ago I was contacted by the Marilyn Denis Show... But then never heard back. I was disappointed and relieved, lol. I like writing, because I can delete things, haha.

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  2. Well done, Tanya, you rocked it!
    :) Robin

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  3. I just discovered your blog so I'll be reading these backwards but I do love the videos! I hang a seasonal wreath over a mirror year round. It started a few years ago with Christmas & has grown into other seasons.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Jenny! Welcome :) Thanks so much for your kind words. I love the idea of a wreath in front of a mirror.

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  4. Hah! You do sound like a 16 year old girl (13 is stretching it a bit) albeit a well-spoken and intelligent one. Great job on the videos - I love the turquoise hair and the projects :)

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    1. Haha, 16? Well, I guess my voice-deepening practice paid off, lol. I have had telemarketers phone, looking for me, and mistake me for my (non-existent) daughter and ask for my mom - which is me. So sounding young can come in handy!

      I'm so glad to hear that you liked the videos and the projects.

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  5. You looked very professional in the video! Not flustered at all, I am so impressed! :)

    And if I may say - I really liked that you spread out the cooperation posts the way you did. I read a lot of blogs, and I really think I've never seen a cooperation fit as seamlessly into a blog the way it did here. Because you made several posts (with great projects! I am already planning on recreating your ornament curtain, and I really want to have a ladder to decorate now) the whole thing felt more bloggy and less sponsory.

    Long story short: Lovely work, as usual, Tanya! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Alexandra! Luckily I'm pretty comfortable speaking in front of people - even large crowds - so I wasn't nervous about the delivery of my lines. I had plenty of other things to keep my nervousness occupied, haha!

      I'm so happy you said that this partnership felt less sponsory and more bloggy!! I really try to find a good balance, and I only accept opportunities that I think (hope!) will improve blog content. I have to give Canadian Tire credit, though, because they were SO flexible and really made no demands. They just asked that I share these projects in a certain time frame but what the projects were, what products were used, how I presented them, whether I included links, etc., was left up to me and that's important to me. I don't even run Google Ads because I like controlling every little bit of my blog posts. I don't want to be a mouthpiece for any company or brand. But I never know how it's being perceived, so I appreciate the feedback.

      It's really made my day knowing that you like some of these ideas, too!

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  6. Love all the videos!!!!

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    1. Thank you! I'm so happy to hear that. I've been so nervous about sharing them.

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  7. You did a fantastic job, and everything looked beautiful. You may have nitpicked, but the rest of us were too busy taking in all the holiday goodness.

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    1. Thank you Dana, you're too kind. That's what my Mom said too, when I was complaining about the mic pack giving me a hunchback in one bit. She said no one is looking because there's so much to look at and the videos go by in a blur. I think my eye is so used to seeing the house, the projects, etc., that I'm immediately drawn to me and any flaws. You and my Mom always give great advice so I'm going to sit back and relax about them, and just enjoy what a great experience it was!!

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    2. I didn't notice your hunchback at all. haha! I thought you looked great! I agree, though, that when we have every square inch of our houses memorized, that gives us more time to look for flaws in photos and videos. I still cringe every time I see a couple of photos on Houzz that show wrinkles in my comforter (I swear I had it perfect for the photo shoot.) and a shot of the foot of the bed where you can see one of the slats and a little piece of orange blanket (How did I miss seeing that???). Aaaargh! Don't they know I'm a perfectionist and can't stand having that recorded for posterity? ;)

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    3. Good, my hunchback wasn't noticeable, lol. I'm so happy the team included a woman, because it was her duty to root around in my dress and turn on/off the pack through the day. I would have been really hooped without her!

      I've never noticed wrinkles in your comforter! Or the slats! You're right: we memorize the details and then our eye seems trained to look for flaws. It's the worst when it's on some other website or out of our hands because then we can't even delete/modify them. I am so tempted to delete half of my old posts because all I see are flaws...

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  8. You did so well! What a fun opportunity for you!

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    1. Thank you, Anu!! It really was a lot of fun! I have a million more ideas now...

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  9. I've loved your holiday sequence. As I expected, you had absolutely nothing to be nervous about. You and Szuka both looked (and you sounded) fabulous. There's something about the videos that makes your still shots all the more believable. I'm not surprised the Canadian Tire people were so thrilled with the house. I don't think there's a single ugly corner anywhere in the place. Congratulations on doing such a great job.

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    1. Thank you!! You always leave such kind and ego-boosting comments :) Wasn't Szuka adorable? she comes running when she hears the fridge, lol. Oh, there are ugly corners, don't worry!! I'll be sharing some soon. The office is brutal...

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  10. Sure, you have a young voice--go you! You sounded confident and comfortable. I've enjoyed your ideas; I, too, have a thing for old ladders. I keep trying to work one into my office decor...we'll see. Thanks for the chance to see you in action.

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    1. I always like seeing my favorite bloggers in a video (even if it's just their voice narrating) because I feel like I get to know them a bit better. I'm happy that it was fun for you to see me in action :) Thanks for your kind words - I'm encouraged to do a house tour now! Old ladders are surprisingly versatile! I've seen them used to storage a multitude of things - people come up with the most clever used for them. I hope you're able to add one!

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  11. You sounded fantastic!!! You actually have a great voice for videos haha. Totally understandable why you don't like doing them though. So nerve racking. The wreaths are so gorgeous and Szuka was a super cute cameo :)

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    1. Awww, thanks!! I tried really hard not to sound too squeaky, lol. Isn't Szuka's cameo the best? She just appears out of nowhere and looks like the happiest dog ever. I'm so thrilled the team included her, it's my favorite part!

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  12. This videos came out awesome-- you spoke nice and clearly and with good pace (...that's the speech professor in me) and you looked GREAT too so try not to nitpick :). Also, I really love those white trees by your fireplace. I don't usually put up a Christmas tree (only when my husband whines for one, lol), but those are definitely my style!

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    1. Thank you!! It's an extra good compliment when it comes from a speech professor. I'm a fast-talker ordinarily, so I had to sloooow it dooown a bit.

      I am so in love with those trees too! We were all given a little catalog and told to pick whatever and those trees were one of my first picks. I love the lights and how they're really simple and unadorned. I've set them up in a local shop with my spiders for sale and they look SO good. I want them back. I'll keep them up all winter for extra lighting, lol.

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  13. Really loved your videos. Your voice is lovely- perfect for instruction, plus you spoke clearly and confidently. You don't sound squeaky to me, it's more feminine than childlike to my ear. However, our recorded voice sounds so different to how we normally hear ourselves that it seems foreign and easy to dislike it.
    Also, it's may seem weird but I felt oddly emotional actually hearing what your voice sounds like. When you read a blog for so long and interact through comments, you do feel connected and I was surprised to find that I was moved to hear the sound of your voice. Weird!
    I watched your videos with my daughter and she loved them, too. At 15, she has a pretty mature design sense and is an avid consumer of online videos, so her thumbs up counts as two.
    Nicely done!

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    1. I will take feminine over child-like, lol! I totally understand feeling emotional. It's so true that we really feel connected communicating this way. It makes sense, because we share really personal details about our lives and home - bloggers and readers alike. I'm so happy you and your daughter both liked the videos! You've talked about her design sense before and I definitely value her opinion because she does sound quite savvy!!

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  14. You did a fab job on the videos. :) Love the pops of red in your kitchen.

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    1. Thank you!! It's fun having such an AQUA (!!) kitchen because even the introduction of a few accessories in another colour really stand out. The turquoise has become a neutral, lol.

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  15. your decor is amazing and i love how ou were able to incorporate even the tablesetting aspect into your decorating.

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    1. Thanks!! It was easier creating the table setting for my own photos because I just fancied up a regular brunch (and made poor Hubby stand by, salivating, while I photographed our food, lol). For the videos it was trickier because we had to scrounge around for food and the table setting was just for show. Must be strange to do that for a living...

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  16. Every post I read of yours I realize we are more and more alike.....we are definitely kindred spirits. Not only did I spend a lot of time with my dad in Canadian Tire, I also think I sound like a 13 yr old girl. lol. I just watched this little crochet tutorial I made a while back and cringed the whole time. I think I was so focused on crocheting and pronouncing my words clearly that I developed some kind of twang in my voice. Bluh! Not to mention I also agree about dressing up a table with a bunch of stuff. "Aint nobody got time for that", except bloggers I guess, that's the only place I see it lol. I'd rather have food on the table than some nick knack.

    I think the videos were awesome. Are they going to be commercials for Canadian Tire? Just on the website? I can totally see the first one as a commercial. I love love love the wall of frames and ornaments. The items hung inside could be changed for the season or even left empty...I think they look pretty cool on their own.

    On a side note, I cringed a little when I saw the one guy man handle your nice white lights hanging from your ceiling. I just kept thinking about dirty finger prints.

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    1. Isn't that the wonderful thing about the internet? I always think it's nice to find people I have things in common with, especially because sometimes I'm a little on the fringes.

      It's funny that when my Mom took care of me as a kid we did constructive things: paint pictures, read books, etc., but when it was my Dad's turn, I went to Canadian Tire and looked at plumbing supplies. Also, we watched really scary television programming, lol.

      Thanks for the pat on the back! Sharing the videos has been much less scary than I thought because everyone has been so kind about them. A real ego boost, haha. They are just on the website, not commercials. That would have been too scary for me!

      I cringed a little too when I caught the light-holding. They were so gentle with everything that I relaxed a little, but now I'm going to investigate for finger prints. Ack.

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    2. Yes the internet is a wonderful thing for a mild introvert such as myself. I can be friendly when I feel like it or shut everyone out when I don't lol. With my dad with was tools, car parts or camping gear lol

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  17. Tanya, I have to agree with the above posts, you don't sound like a 13 year old girl. My daughter is 21 and we sound so similar people are constantly confusing us and I'm delighted when we are mistaken for each other. Be glad you sound young! Your videos were the best! I wish they had been TV commercials. As I again agree with other comments, your house is beautiful.

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